Someone once asked me how we should approach those from totally different cultures who were coming to live in the culture we have grown up in. Should we urge them to capitulate totally to our own cultural ways or should we encourage them to maintain all of their own cultural distinctions as they live within our culture? How should we approach this issue?
Obviously, there are many complicated factors to consider, before proposing solutions to this. However, there is one thing that I always insist upon, whatever the culture. All aspects of every culture should be judged against the absolutes of the Word of God. If there are areas that are contrary to God's Word, then they should be changed to conform to God's standards, no matter what culture it is.
Isaiah 8:20 states: "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." And, as the Psalmist says in Psalm 36:9, "For with Thee is the fountain of life: In Thy light shall we see light."
Some may think that the creation ministry just involves people who use scientific arguments in the creation versus evolution debate. But the creation ministry is involved in much, much more than this. In fact, one of the major aspects of our ministry is to tell people that the Word of the Creator God, revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures, must be foundational to all of our thinking in every area. We have the Word of the Absolute Authority.
The Scriptures tell us, in Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and of wisdom. In Colossians 2:3, we are told, concerning the Creator, that He is the One in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
The Holy Scriptures are the revealed Word of the Infinite God—our Creator, the Lawgiver, the Holy, sinless God, the One who is infinite in knowledge and wisdom. He has the authority to set the rules. Thus we must come in total submission to God's Word, recognizing that in every area, in all of our thinking, we must start with the foundation of revealed Scripture. Otherwise, we could never be sure about being right about anything.
How do we measure the success of our family or nation? How do we decide if our culture is going in the right direction? How do we determine if our legal and education systems are correct in method and content? What criteria or measurements do we use?
We must measure by the Rule Book—comprising only true absolutes! But often, we just argue from the wisdom of the world. Will we allow Scripture to be our normative guide? Or must it yield that position of authority to modern scholarship, personal experience, natural reason, new mystical insights, public opinion, or some other standard? How do we determine what we should do in any circumstance?
If we do not use Biblical authority, but, instead, replace it by unstable human wisdom, and if our behavior is directed by the descriptions of social science instead of the prescriptions of God's Word, then, sadly, we will have returned to the situation prevailing at the time of the Book of Judges. In Judges 21:25, we read, "in those days there was no king in Israel: Every man did that which was right in his own eyes."
Our modern western society is certainly one that seems to be pervaded by the philosophy that everyone has a right to do what he or she wants to do, except that those who insist on Biblical standards as portrayed above are considered the "evil" ones. Even many Christians seem to operate by an opinion-oriented philosophy, rather than by the light of God's Word.
This situation has arisen because many have been convinced, by evolutionary scientists, that God's Word cannot be trusted. These scientists are insisting that it is man's word that must be trusted. Isaiah 2:22 tells us to "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: For wherein is he to be accounted of?" In Isaiah 2:5, we are instructed to "Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord."
Yet it wasn't very long ago that one of the world's greatest scientists, Johann Kepler, stated, as he was involved in his research, that he was merely thinking God's thoughts after Him. Kepler and many other great scientists were great because they started with God's Word as the foundation for their thinking. This is why our modern science was able to develop to the great heights it has.
But how far we have fallen! Most scientists today, and, sadly, many Christians, basically operate on the philosophy of thinking man's thoughts after himself. We have become so conformed to this world's way of thinking, and yet we wonder why our culture is so anti-Christian in so many areas.
Through our creation ministry, we have attempted to show that there is a Christian philosophy in every area of life that is built by starting with Scripture. Once we do this we can see that this philosophy works! It explains the evidence! God promises to mightily bless nations that are built on His principles.
People need to be brought back to thinking correctly, by building their thinking on the only true foundation—the Creator of all things. I call this "Thinking Christian." There is a correct Christian way of thinking about geology, biology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, art, music, psychology, history, language, politics, etc., etc. And this correct way must start with the revealed Word of the Creator God and thus His foundational principles.
Is history just the aimless fumblings of men and nations, or is the absolute Creator God in total control? Remember Cyrus? What did God say about him? "He is my shepherd, and [he] shall perform all my pleasure" (Isaiah 44:28). As Proverbs 21:1 states, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will."
In Deuteronomy 28, we are told how God will bless if His people obey Him, and how He will curse if His people disobey. God is in total control of nations. He is in total control of the appointment of judges, of senators, etc. But as we look at our western nations and we read Deuteronomy, we seem to see the curses described there falling upon our nations. Many of the judges and politicians do not have standards based upon God's Word. What has happened?
If God is in total control, as His Word says, then why are these things happening? Why the decline and almost total collapse, in some instances, of Christian ethics? Why doesn't God put Christian men and women in power?
Admittedly, it is difficult, in many instances today, to even find candidates who measure up to any Scriptural principles. Many Christians don't even bother to be interested. "After all," some say, "if God is in control, I can't do anything anyway."
But even though God is in total control, He responds to His people. In Daniel, Chapter 9, we read of Daniel reading God's Word about the promise of the restoration of Israel. Daniel prayed and fasted, and God heard his prayer and his confession of his sins and the sins of the people of Israel, and God responded as His Word had promised.
How we need to be like Daniel. We need to pray and fast for our nations. We need to confess our sins and the terrible sins of our nations, and we need to be brought back to a total commitment to God's Word. We need to build all of our thinking, in every area, on the Word of God.
And as we approach opportunities to vote for politicians, school board members, deacons, or other leaders, we need to be like Daniel—to read God's Word and act upon it. We also need to be like the great Christian scientists of the past, and "think God's thoughts after Him."